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Dr. Fauci Just Said When The Economy Will Finally Reopen

Our return to “normality” can start as soon as next Spring, but depends on the vaccine—and who takes it.
Coffee shop woman owner with face mask, open after lockdown quarantine.

With coronavirus cases off the charts, and a vaccine still months away for most of us, it seems like there's no end in sight to the pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussed COVID-19 and the impact on the African-American community with Byron Allen on theGrio, and got into when we could all return to normality, including the economy.

"We're in a very precarious situation in that if you look at the slope, the trajectory of the curve, that's gone up now in what I would consider the third surge that we've had," said Fauci. Still, he said, "We know though that that is not a hopeless situation." Read on to hear when he thinks the economy will be back, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci Said the Economy Could Reopen a Few Months Into 2021—If a "Substantial" Number of People Get Vaccinated

Allen asked Fauci: "When do you think we could safely reopen throughout the country and really have our economy fully moving forward?"

"I think it's going to be gradual," answered Fauci. "And I think pretty soon, even, maybe as we get towards the middle of the first quarter or the end of the first quarter where you get the vulnerable is protected and people realize that it's essential to do the public health measures that I'm talking about." Fauci said we'd get the normal faster if everyone took the vaccine, and also mentioned that we need to continue to wear face masks, wash our hands, and avoid congregate settings. "And I want to make that point that just because we have a vaccine, we're not going to abandon immediately all public health measures—we're going to do them together, sort of additive or even synergistically doing it together," he said.

"So we could probably have an approach towards normalization within a few months into 2021 where, let's say in April, the first quarter that you have a substantial number of people vaccinated, I believe that the level of virus in society will be low enough that it's no longer this frightening threat to everyone right now, when you have 200,000 cases a day between 100 and 200,000 cases—that means there's a lot of virus floating around in the community. That's the silent spread that you don't know about."

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Dr. Fauci Said to Expect "Gradually Getting to Normality"

"So once you get that level," he continued, "really, really low, then the risk and the likelihood of you or I getting infected, going into a store, wearing a mask, but buying things, keeping the economy going it'll get better and better and better. It's not going to be a light switch that you turn it on and turn it off. Either we're shut down or we're totally open. It's going to be gradually getting to normality."

So continue to practice those fundamentals, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.